Almost as soon as I arrived I got a taste of how people’s lives are beginning to change. The project team and I visited a vocational training centre to check in on the Youth Training programme. Twenty-seven young men and women from the nearby villages are being trained in carpentry and garment sewing.
These young people have no access to land of their own to farm, and therefore no way of earning incomes or feeding themselves and their families. But what really struck me was the common theme that came through from the women’s stories.
Women marry very young here, usually in their early teenage years. These women, still girls really, had been abandoned by their husbands and left with absolutely no means of supporting themselves.
For these women and girls, being employed or starting a small business through this project means economic security. It means independence for them. It means a future.